RLC acquires and stewards lands that provide multiple benefits to the communities we serve. Open space lands held by RLC include lands for passive recreation, habitat for threatened and endangered species, water resources, and agriculture. RLC primarily conserves land through willing sellers, conservation easements for mitigation, and donations. RLC also transfers lands to various regional and state agencies for perpetual stewardship as part of larger conservation goals.
During our nearly 33-year history, RLC has been instrumental in acquiring and preserving over 14,500 acres of open space valued at over $82 Million; many of these lands have been transferred to other conservation organizations. RLC is also seeking opportunities for local land acquisition projects that provide open space benefits to nearby neighborhoods and communities. Local acquisition projects may include a key piece of property to connect a local or regional trail, preservation of landmarks such as hilltops or arroyos, or providing a means for agricultural land to be retained as open space or as community gardens. RLC provides the professional services needed to develop and implement land acquisition projects.
RLC manages conserved lands for public benefit by protecting, enhancing, and restoring natural resources. RLC currently stewards 56 conservation properties that total over 2,700 acres of permanently protected open space. Our conservation properties include a combination of RLC-owned properties and properties held under conservation easement. RLC’s stewardship objectives include improving habitat for wildlife, removing invasive plant and animal species, restoring riparian and oak woodland habitat, maintaining infrastructure, and providing appropriate education, recreation and volunteer opportunities.
Land development projects, both private and public, are often required to preserve land as mitigation for project impacts. Typically, the permitting agencies require a conservation easement to ensure the mitigation lands are preserved in perpetuity. RLC is authorized by the CDFW to hold conservation easements or fee title lands for mitigation purposes in the coastal, inland, and desert regions of southern California. Additionally, RLC is a nationally accredited land trust, a mark of distinction showing that RLC meets high standards for land conservation.
For mitigation projects, we require a project proponent to pay an initial evaluation fee, and then, at the time of property conveyance, deposit an endowment to match projected long-term management funding requirements. RLC manages, disburses, and governs endowment funds consistent with state law and with the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act. RLC’s long-term management ranges from easement compliance oversight to property maintenance and resource management. RLC currently holds and manages mitigation properties in four southern California counties.